Monday, May 13, 2013

Bad Faith and Benghazi

Jonah Goldberg

"Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference -- at this point, what difference does it make?"

That was how then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton famously brushed off the question of when she knew that the attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were, in fact, a terrorist assault and not a "protest" of an anti-Islam video that got out of hand.

Clinton's fans, in and out of the press, loved her defiant response, and they should be ashamed of themselves for it.

What Clinton was really doing there was deflecting attention away from the fact that she lied. We now know, thanks to Wednesday's congressional hearings and reporting by The Weekly Standard's Steve Hayes, that administration officials knew from the outset the video had nothing to do with it. Intelligence sources on the ground in Libya and officials in Washington knew that it was a terrorist attack from the beginning. The video was a "non-event in Libya" according to Gregory Hicks, the man who inherited Stevens' duties after the ambassador was killed by al-Qaeda-linked militants. The false video story was simply imposed from above by Clinton, President Obama and their subalterns.

Let's return to that lie in a moment.

The hearings exposed another lie. Obama and Clinton have insisted that they did everything they could to help the Americans besieged in Libya; they just couldn't get help to them in time.

That's simply untrue.  But even if that were true, it would still be a self-serving falsehood.

If you see a child struggling in the ocean, you have no idea how long she will flail and paddle before she goes under for the last time. The moral response is to swim for her in the hope that you get there in time. If you fail and she dies, you can console yourself that you did your best to rescue her.

But if you just stand on the beach and do nothing as the child struggles for life, saying, "Well, there's just no way I can get to her in time," it doesn't really matter whether you guessed right or not. You didn't try.

The White House and State Department insist they guessed right, as if that somehow absolves them of responsibility. They would have sent help if they could have, they claim, but they simply weren't ready to deploy forces on Sept. 11, the one day of the year you'd expect our military and intelligence agencies to be ready for trouble in the Middle East, particularly given that before his murder, Stevens warned of security problems in Benghazi.

But we know the administration ordered others who were willing, able and obliged to come to the consulate's rescue to "stand down." They in effect told the lifeguards, "Don't get out of your chairs."

Though an unmanned drone was there to capture the whole thing on video, which must have been reassuring as the mortar rounds rained down.

Leon Panetta, who was the secretary of defense during the attack, mocked critics who wanted to know why the Pentagon didn't scramble any jets from Italy to the scene. "You can't willy-nilly send F-16s there and blow the hell out of place. ... You have to have good intelligence."

Never mind that real-time video of the attack is pretty good intelligence. An F-16 doesn't need to blow anyone to hell to have an impact. As military expert and former assistant defense secretary Bing West notes, "99 percent of air sorties over Afghanistan never drop a single bomb." Just showing up is often intimidating enough.

What motivated the White House and the State Department to deceive the public about what they did is unknown. Maybe it was incompetence or politics or simply understandable bureaucratic confusion.

But we do know they deceived the public. Which brings us back to the lies over the video. In the wake of Benghazi, the country endured an intense debate over how much free speech we could afford because of the savage intolerance of rioters half a world away. Obama and Clinton fueled this debate by incessantly blaming the video -- as if the First Amendment was the problem.

Clinton and Obama both swore oaths to support and defend the Constitution. But after failing to support and defend Americans left to die, they blamed the Constitution for their failure. That's what difference it makes.



Ariel Castro, Cleveland Kidnapper, is a Registered Democrat

Had he been a Republican, it would have been front page, coast to coast.  As it is: crickets

According to voter registration records, Ariel Castro, the Cleveland kidnapper, is a registered Democrat. He was also the alleged leader among the three Castro brothers, who were arrested this week, and the owner of the house at 2207 Seymour Ave., where the three abducted local women had been kept in captivity for over a decade.

Why is this important? Whenever a crime or a scandal captures national attention, the pattern in the mainstream media is to either identify the culprit as a Republican or hold silence -- in which case we can rest assured that the culprit is a Democrat.

When the identity or the party affiliation is yet unknown, the pattern is to speculate publicly about the possibility of the criminal being a privileged white conservative Christian, Republican, and a Tea Party member -- and never that he could be an immigrant Hispanic Democrat voter playing bass in a meringue band.

In today's divisive climate, the identity of a perpetrator is always a political issue, especially when a crime is committed by men against women. According to the Daily News, "What the neighbors saw was terrifying and dehumanizing: Naked women on dog leashes, crawling in the dirt. A lady clutching an infant and pounding on a window for help."

If any of the brothers were a Republican, this news would have been trumpeted by the mainstream media as tangible proof of the Republican War on Women -- a narrative invented by Democrat strategists and maintained by the media in a successful effort to defeat Republican candidates in the 2012 election cycle.

However, when a real act of war on women is perpetrated by a Democrat voter in the manner that even the most zealous Democrat strategist couldn't have dreamed up in their worst nightmares -- involving abduction, imprisonment, rape, torture, malnutrition, beatings while pregnant, and killing babies -- the media doesn't think the party affiliation is relevant.

I'm not saying that in this case it is. What's relevant is the relentless media bias, taunting, and bullying of conservatives and Republicans.



Court Reinstates Christian College's Obamacare Lawsuit

A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Wednesday reinstated Geneva College's lawsuit challenging the Obama administration's contraception mandate.

The Christian college, which "prepares students to serve Christ in all areas of society," objects to the administration's requirement that it include coverage for abortion-producing products and contraceptives as well as sterilization procedures.

Geneva's original lawsuit, filed in February, was dismissed a few weeks later "for lack of ripeness," based partly on the Obama administration's announcement that it was offering accommodation to religious entities such as Geneva that do not fit Obamacare's definition of a “religious employer.”

But in its motion to reconsider, Geneva College called the "accommodation" a "smoke and mirrors" approach that would still require the college to provide and pay for a plan that allows employees access to the objectionable services.

Geneva told the court its objection to the contraceptive mandate remains unchanged despite the Obama administration's proposed accommodation; and it further argued that it has already begun negotiating the terms of its student health insurance plan for the 2013-2014 plan year (which begins on August 1, 2013), and must now choose between making available insurance with objectionable provisions -- or eliminating its student health insurance plan altogether.

“All Americans, including job creators and providers, should be free to live according to their faith rather than be forced into violating their own consciences," said Gregory S. Baylor, a senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing Geneva. "The court has done the right thing in allowing Geneva College to remain in this ensure that the government doesn’t punish people of faith for making decisions consistent with that faith.”

On its website, Geneva College explains that the administration's proposed accommodation is no accommodation at all:

We would have welcomed a real modification to the rule being promulgated by HHS; had there been a real accommodation we would likely not have filed suit.  Unfortunately, on February 10, the same day President Obama announced there would be a compromise, HHS filed the final rule in the Federal Register with no change.  HHS’s announcement also failed to make or even propose any substantive change.

"Had the President announced that the administration was not going to finalize the rule until it worked out the terms of a compromise, we would have had greater confidence that a real accommodation might be made.  As it stands, no compromise exists either in law or regulation.  The President’s non-binding suggestion that our insurance company would provide objectionable items “for free” is not plausible, and misses the moral point that HHS will still be forcing us to provide a plan that directly enables the coverage of items that attack human life in violation of our beliefs."



Nationalism is historically Leftist; patriotism is conservative

Nationalism is a most touchy subject. People prefer the term “Patriotism” and slide over the nationalistic characteristics of their beliefs and what the advocacy of those beliefs would actually signify.  In fact, it is difficult to discuss or write about nationalism in a negative vein. People are naturally hostile to an attack on what they feel is a positive attribute that all sensible people should share.

Nevertheless, evidence abounds that nationalism is an insidious, enveloping excuse for increasing the power of the State over the individual. This is something that many supporters of nationalistic policies claim they do not desire. But make no mistake, nationalism is anti-individual. Once the supremacy of the “Nation State” is accepted, the template is applied.

To be fair, let us use the most intellectual nationalistic example for illustration. That would be the Fascist State of Italy under [Marxist] Mussolini.  It would qualify as more intellectual, or some might say, pseudo-intellectual, than some other examples. The document I am referencing is a carefully developed statement of philosophy. Its purpose and its focus was on the particular criteria necessary to achieve more directly and singularly the nationalistic objectives it desired. Historically it is well known as the co-written essay by Benito Mussolini and Giovanni Gentile.

One might ask why it is important to read and understand this rather obscure Document. Primarily because it is an outline of the desirability of nationalism and the ideas within it have not been rejected. Though Mussolini himself fell out of favor, the ideas behind fascism are very much still in favor. Certainly pre-World War I these ideas were in the ascension. Mussolini won the approval, favor and glorification of many well known and influential people. Besides the many famous politicians (Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill) and others such as Bernard Baruch, many held him and his fascist state in high esteem. Their praise and promotion left a legacy for a strong Nationalistic State that has endured through every President since that time. Though his excesses and cruelty were noted, the essence of a corporate state and a nationalistic regime are not just excused but emulated and encouraged.  

Although this might seem rather involved, it is actually an outline to understanding nationalism, its objectives and most critically, the impact of these ideas on our own thinking. Please read this document and analyze for yourself just what the ramifications are for your personal political and economic philosophy.

I was piecing information together when my friend and mentor, Charles Burris sent me this much more comprehensive link, already translated into English. Charles is a history teacher, but most important an ongoing dedicated student of history. Our appreciation and thanks to Charles Burris for such a complete document. For those readers who are merely curious about fascism this is a unique document. For others who are searchers for truth, even when unpleasant, this is indeed the truth of nationalism in the raw.

SOURCE.  The document referred to is Mussolini's 1932 statement of Fascist principles.


Live Free or Move

John Stossel

It's good that we can move! Moving provides one of the few limits on the megalomania of state bureaucrats.

The National ArchivesThe National ArchivesAmericans have moved away from high-taxed, heavily regulated states to lower-taxed, less-regulated states. Most don't think of it as a political decision. They just go where opportunities are, and that usually means where there's less government.

They're leaving my state, New York, in droves. California, despite its great weather, also lost people, and wealth. Other biggest losers were Illinois, New Jersey and Ohio.

Travis Brown, author of "Money Walks," tracked the movements using IRS data. On my TV show, he revealed that Florida was the state that gained the most: "You're seeing a massive amount of people and their income coming in: $86 billion."

Arizona and Texas also gained, which made me wonder if Americans just move to states where it's warm. "No," said Darcy Olsen, president of Arizona's Goldwater Institute. "Weather explains just 5 percent of the migration ... the Census Bureau asks, and they say, 'to find a job.'"

People move where jobs are, and the states gaining the most -- which also include North Carolina and Nevada -- follow what she calls "the magic formula. Lower taxes and good labor policy, which means, to a business, being free to hire and fire the people you want. (In) the most successful states you see both -- no income tax or low taxes coupled with right-to-work laws."


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC,  AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.

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